Talking with Destruction
Chapter 27: Talking with Destruction
“Hey there, little human, wake up.” A soft feminine voice called out through the darkness.
Jack yawned loudly as he rubbed his eyes and slowly opened them only to freeze when he saw where he was. He found himself in a strange, completely white area with nothing around him at all. The area seemed to be infinite with no end or boundaries but was completely empty. All he could see in all directions was nothing but white as leaving him greatly confused as to where he was and what was going on. He quickly looked down to see that he was somehow floating as if he was a ghost. What further horrified him was the fact he could see straight through his arms and legs as if he was a specter. His entire body appeared to be translucent but only slightly, which only served to increase his anxiety. It took him a moment to realize that he was not in his physical body, which explained why he could see through his arms, and entire body. He let out a loud gasp at the realization but was somehow able to prevent himself from freaking out. Having a panic attack was probably not a good idea in his situation and it helped to know there was someone there with him.
“What in the . . . where am I?” Jack muttered as he looked around him worriedly before turning towards the woman.
Jack’s jaw dropped when he saw the woman floating nearby in the vast emptiness, they were in. Within an arm’s length of his was the largest and strangest looking creature, that he assumed was a woman, he had ever seen. The fact that she had breasts, and rather big ones, along with her long, dark red hair that was tied in a ponytail, made it obvious she was a woman. Her body was a mix of multiple different animals that made him think she was a chimera at first. Her body and limbs were shaped more like a humanoid canine like the Zordons except she was covered in blood red fur. However, her hands gave a more feline appearance with razor sharp, black claws. Her tail was closer to a reptile than anything else and was nearly if she was tall and covered with red fur. The face was her strangest part as it gave the impression of a saber tooth tiger with two long teeth. Her eyes were also feline in appearance but her pupils practically glowed yellow. If he had to guess the woman was at least seven feet tall, not including her long, backward carved horns that resembled goats. Jack didn’t know what to take from her appearance as she was just weird looking to him but also strangely attractive with rather pleasing assets.
Much to his surprise the woman wore a rather elegant white dress that hang tight to her main body but loose around her legs. The straps were gold and wrapped around her shoulders and held it up, as did her large bosom that was big even for her height. Both sides of the skirt part of the dress were slits that went almost to her hips, allowing Jack to get a good view of her muscular legs. She wore golden bracelets that almost completely covered her forearms. She also wore sandal-like shoes with straps that went a good way up her lower legs. Dressed so elegantly Jack would assume she was headed to an elegant ball or event. He hated to admit it, but the dress certainly complimented her figure though he wasn’t attracted to her.
All that was made even more overwhelming as the insane power Jack felt practically exploding from her. He couldn’t explain it but somehow, he could feel the explosive power coming from her. There was so much that he was given the impression the only reason reality wasn’t coming apart just from her being there was because she was casually preventing it. Though she hadn’t done anything beyond smile to him Jack had a feeling deep in his spirit that she was an immensely powerful being one who’s very presence was overwhelming to anyone and anything around her. But in Jack’s case, he would be overwhelmingly shocked if he hadn’t been in her presence before, but that didn’t help him feel any more relaxed or confused.
“You again?” Jack blurted out as he sat up. “I haven’t seen you in . . . since I was tortured in Afghanistan.”
The woman gave Jack a warm smile as she spoke in a rather comforting tone. “Indeed, to you it has been some time since I have allowed you to see me.”
Jack opened his mouth to reply but quickly shut it upon realizing he there really was no response he could give that would be satisfying. He remembered the last time he saw her, and she was just as cryptic and sarcastic. The way she spoke gave the impression she was always around him; he just didn’t realize it till she allowed him to see her. For all he knew that could be true, but he wasn’t in the position to question it. She had the same comforting but also devious look as she did back then, and it made him feel both secure and nervous at the same time. She appeared to him on the last day he was in the Iranian prison just as the guards were on the way to execute him. She effortlessly freed him by somehow teleporting him outside as U.S. Rangers arrived to storm the prison. To that day he still had no idea what happened and couldn’t ask as she disappeared before he could speak, leaving him very confused. Those questions still flooded his mind, even though all the years, and being in her presence brought them to the forefront of his mind. However, he had a strange suspicion that he was not about to get them answered and was going to be left with a lot more once they were done.
Those thoughts and confusion were quickly pushed to the side of Jack’s mind as the memory of the PDF and Xulon attack on his house took their place. He recalled the PDF agents storming his home and taking the girls hostage and the Xulons showing up causing complete chaos. The memory of him shooting Alex in the head entered his mind but he paid no attention to it, barely feeling anything about doing it. The last thing he remembered was jumping to protect Fara, Felicity, and Amanda, but being knocked unconscious. He had no memory of what happened which caused him to start mentally freaking out as he had no idea if they were safe or not.
“The girls are safe and sound.” The woman quickly answered with a warm smile as if she knew what was running through his mind, and probably did. “You are all safe on board the Zordon fleet command ship and have been for quite some time.”
“Uh . . . okay?” Jack safely spoke as he tried to comprehend what she had just said. “I must have hit my head really hard as I swore you said we was on board a Zordon ship.”
“You are correct . . . on both counts.” The woman replied with a smirk. “You hit your head pretty hard during the explosion . . . and I mean HARD. You suffered a significant concussion that should have put you in a coma for months.” Zathora leaned forward and spoke softly. “Or you would have if I hadn’t prevented it from happening?”
“You stopped me from getting a concussion?” Jack blurted out.
The woman nodded with the same smile, ignoring his tone. “Indeed, it wasn’t even a trivial task for me so don’t worry about it.”
“Okay, if you say so.” Jack nervously replied, remembering she was able to cause the chains holding him when he was in the Iranian prison to literally be erased from reality with a thought. “Forgive me for being . . . well, rude but this is a lot to take in. This is the first time I’ve had what could probably be considered a literal out of body experience.” Jack straightened up before continuing. “So, before we continue can you please tell me your name? Last time I saw you I didn’t get a name.”
“Zathora . . . Lord Zathora.” The woman once again quickly answered. “Let’s just say I am a friend . . . for now that is all you need to know.”
“Of course, should have expected that response from you.” Jack replied with a sigh and chuckle. “So, what happened while I was knocked out? I’m assuming the Zordons showed rescued us?”
“That’s the simplified version of it. Your friend Fara played a big role in your current state. They would have left you and Amanda behind if she hadn’t convinced them to bring you two along.” Zathora crossed her arms under her large chest. “You owe Fara when you return to your body.”
“And I will be sure to replay it.” Jack smirked before giving Zathora a serious look. “And what happened afterwards.”
“Not much, they brought you to the Zordon fleet where they began fixing everyone’s injuries. There’s not much to say beyond that.”
“You mean not much to say, or you won’t tell me, and I’ll have to find out from Fara?” Jack stated, not relenting his gaze which didn’t have any effect on Zathora.
“Both, it gives you something to talk about with Fara when you return to your body.”
“Which leads to the question, why am I here, speaking with you when I could be in my body?”
“Because I wanted to have a quick word with you, and to remind you that I am observing.”
“Boring but not interfering?” Jack stated.
“Only when the situation calls for it. You will play an instrumental role in events to come, and you need to be in the best shape as possible.”
“Oh, so you NEED me to keep going?”
“Not at all.” Zathora sternly shook her head while smiling. “I do not NEED you for anything. I simply want you to be in the best possible shape so events can unfold that benefit your galaxy.”
“Okay, that was . . . Informative.” Jack sarcastically stared at Zathora as a million questions flooded his mind, but he remained silent for a brief time as he had a suspicion asking wouldn’t get him anywhere. “I guess all I really need to ask is what do you need . . . I mean want me to do?”
“Not really, that’s just one of the few questions a mortal’s mind is capable of asking when. Trying to comprehend my desires, let alone my existence, is often impossible for mortals.” Zathora chuckled as Jack’s confused expression intensified. “Simply put, don’t try to understand me or my kind, that will only lead to more confusion.” She gave Jack another warm smile. “Basically, you can say all that should be done is you try to lie your life and maintain a good relationship with Fara and Felicity . . . as well as the rest of the Zordon race.”
Jack sighed loudly as he took Zathora’s advice and gave up trying to comprehend what was on. “That is easier said done that though I do have a good start, with Fara and Felicity at least.”
“I know, and you should just keep doing that, for everyone’s sake.” Zathora responded as a devious smile crossed her muzzle making Jack a bit uneasy. “There is just one more thing, Jack.” Zathora said as she stepped towards Jack and extended her hand to his forehead. “Return to your body.”
Before Jack could utter a word Zathora flicked his forehead, sending him flying backwards towards his body. Everything was a blur as he felt himself merge back with his body, still very much confused as to what the heck was going on but knew he wasn’t in the position to question it. Everything happened so quickly that he had no time to comprehend what was going on; his best guess was Zathora sent him back to his body, with something as simple as a finger flick. That was confirmed when he felt the weight of his body as well as the usual tension in his joints. A million questions flooded his mind as he tried to open his eyes, but he had a feeling none, if any, would be answered.
“What in the hell?” Jack muttered as his eyes slowly adjusted to the bright light.
Jack rubbed his eyes but as he tried to adjust to being back in his body, as well as being in a strange room. All he could see was the outline of a room and he could tell he was on bed, a strangely comfortable one even though it was a bit too soft for his liking. The sheer confusion he felt being in an unknown environment nearly caused him to start hyperventilating as he slowly sat up. All his senses were overwhelmed as he adjusted back to the land of the living preventing him from figuring out where he was. His head spun like crazy, causing severe headaches as he restrained the urge the scream.
“Jack, are you okay?” An all too familiar feminine voice, that sounded quite strong but also concerned, called out to him from the side.
Jack quickly turned his head, but his eyes hadn’t fully adjusted to his surroundings yet. All he could really see was blurry outlines of what was around him along with some figure standing near his bed looking down at him. Though his vision was horrible, as was the rest of his senses, he knew the voice all too well to not immediately recognize it. The way the blurry figure looked down at him was something he had experienced many times, allowing him to instantly know who it was; none other than Fara Fennix, one of the very few people who he was happy to see. But, due to his lack of mental clarity, and shock from waking up in an unknown location, he was still very much confused and concerned as to what was going on.
“Jack, calm down, everything’s fine.” Fara said, gently laying her hands on his shoulder, her voice sounding a bit like static.
The feelings of some strange warmth overwhelmed his body as he turned his head to see Fara standing near him. Her grip quickly got hard as she was trying to calm him down, which slowly seemed to work as he strangely felt secure in her presence, despite being in an unfamiliar setting. For some reason just her being there was enough to make him feel safe in a strange situation. He didn’t know if it was the feelings, he had for her or if he had just gotten familiar to her presence. Whatever the case with Fara was Jack was happy to have her by his side. It took some time once he was able to breath properly for his vision to start returning to normal. He slowly began to see that he was in room, on a bed, with Fara standing over him with a worried and compassionate expression. Seeing her genuinely concerned about his wellbeing was enough to get him to slowly return to normal as he began to comprehend what was around him.
“Okay, I’m fine Fara, thank you.” Jack muttered as he looked at Fara with longing eyes.
Fara warmly smiled, apparently happy to see that he was alive and in somewhat good health. “Glad to hear it, Jack. You had me worried there for some time. You have been unconscious for a couple rotations . . . I mean days. Sorry, I still get our standards of time mixed up.”
“Really, it’s been that long.” Jack gritted his teeth as a minor headache rattled his brain. “It feels like I’ve been asleep for longer than that.” The pain eventually resided as he managed to ask. “Fara, where are we?”
“On board the Zordon fleet command ship.” Fara immediately answered as she gently pushed Jack back down on the bed. “In the medical bay specifically, though that should be obvious.”
Jack rubbed the back of his head as his mind slowly returned to normal. It took longer than he would have liked but eventually he was able to look around him and see that Fara was right, which didn’t surprise him. It took him quite some time to comprehend he was lying in a hospital-like bed win a room that reminded him of the med bay of military bases he served at but with significantly more advanced equipment. He couldn’t even begin to understand what those machines were for and at that point the time he couldn’t care. Since the last thing he remembered was covering Fara, Felicity, and Amanda with his body to protect them from an explosion. That made finding himself in a strange medical facility, aboard a Zordon ship even weirder than it already was. If it wasn’t for Fara he would still be freaking out, but it didn’t stop his curiosity from going wild.
Jack looked at Fara and stuttered. “What happened after I blacked out?”
“Really, you want to get right into it. You do not want to rest?”
Jack shook his head. “Yeah, I’d like to know exactly what is going on.”
“Alright, at least it is a quite story.” Fara gave Jack a comforting smile and softly patted his shoulder. “Once you were knocked out my fellow pilots continued to fight the Xulons and pick off the rest of the PDF. It was not much of a fight but only one Xulon pilot escaped alive, the Commander I think.”
“Really, it was that easy?”
“Indeed, you know we Zordons are thorough and ready for a fight. That made the fight pretty easy to not only defeat the Xulons but rescue us.” Fara smiles passionately at Jack. “Before the fight was even my medics and security had secured us and began working on our injures. They had us loaded back in their transport ship and headed back to the fleet quickly.”
Jack held up his hand to stop Fara. “Did they not hesitate to help me and bring Amanda along?”
Fara shook her head. “Not at all, the Fleet Admiral had filled them in fully on the situation and I was there to keep things moving. I know it is surprising, but they were professional and treated you, while unconscious, carefully, and I promise Amanda was safe with me.”
“Okay, not what I was expecting, and I have trouble believing it. But I was unconscious for it all, so I have to go with your word.” Jack gave Fara a sarcastic smile. “Thankfully it is your word, so I trust it.”
“You had better after everything we have been through.” Fara replied with a big smile before continuing the story. “Thanks to our warp jump technology we were able to get back to the fleet quickly where we were escorted to the medical facilities immediately. They began working on my leg while the doctors did what they could with you ever since. That is, it, not much has happened beyond that, at least nothing you need to concern yourself with.”
Jack leaned back giving Fara a questionable look. “Really, is that all there is?”
“Yeah, though the fleet has been going crazy with gossip and rumors, along with preparations for a possible war against the Xulons.” Fara shrugged as if it didn’t matter to them. “Right now, you just need to focus on yourself and getting better, we both need to do that.”
Jack mumbled under his breath, knowing from experience he wasn’t going to get any further with Fara. He hated to admit it, but she was right given their circumstances. Since he was not part of the Zordon forces what was going on amongst the fleet was not his concern. Given he just woke up he was not of the best mental state to try and comprehend everything. Being aboard an alien ship narrowed his options as well, even though he wasn’t in any danger. That didn’t stop his mind from attempting to race and understand what was going on, which led to him to wonder where their kids were. He hadn’t seen a single sign of them since he woke up and that left him confused as to where they were and worry about their safety.
Jack gazed at Fara and asked. “What about the kids, where are they?”
“They are with a friend of mine, safe so do not worry.” Fara was quick to answer.
Jack tilted his head somewhat confused. “Uh, a friend you trust?”
Fara nodded. “Yes, I would not have left them with a friend I did not trust.”
“Even though Amanda is a human?” Jack was quite to state. “I figured that would make any Zordon hesitant to babysit.”
“It did but since the request came from me, she was happy to accept it.” Fara replied as she patted Jack on the shoulder. “So, trust me, the kids are perfectly fine so we can focus on you.”
“Because you were the only who was injured.”
Jack looked down at Fara’s leg but due it his position on the bed he couldn’t see it. “What about your leg, it was far worse than any damage I received.”
“That is debatable, you did receive some pretty bad back burns.” Fara exclaimed as she pointed to Jack’s back. “At least for our doctors it was an easy fix.”
“Really, how bad was it?”
“Well, I think your human doctors would classify it as third-degree burns combined with shrapnel wounds.”
Jack didn’t hold back a gasp. “Damn, then why is it not hurting like hell?”
“Because treating burns and shrapnel wounds is trivial for Zordon medical staff.” Fara casually answered. “I do not understand how it is done but they were quickly able to repair the burn damage without any skin graphs and remove any shrapnel. So, all you have to do is take it easy for a little bit and you will be up and chasing the kids around in no time.”
Jack leaned up and felt some minor pain and tension in his back. “Alright, I’ll need to hear it from a doctor first but at least it doesn’t hurt. No offense to you but I would like to hear a doctor’s opinion before I get up and moving.”
“None taken since I do not know anything about medicine.” Fara replied with a slight smile.
“Agreed and no comment.” Jack sarcastically said before glancing down at Fara’s leg again. “So, what about your leg?”
Fara smiled as she held up her leg for Jack to see, revealing a long cast around her knee that seemed to offer support and stability. “Pretty good now that it has been properly treated.”
Jack eyed Fara’s leg curiously. “They were able to fix your leg that quickly?”
“Well, fix is a bit of an overstatement.” Fara answered as she sat down. “They performed surgery to repairing the broken bones, but it will take some time before my leg is fully healed. For the time being I am to take it easy and wear this brace.”
Jack smiled and pointed to a cane near the chair. “As well as the cane.”
Fara sighed loudly as she grabbed the cane. “Yes, but only for a short time. It sucks that I have to look weak in front of my fellow pilots.”
Jack opened his mouth to speak only for the door to his medical room suddenly swing open revealing a large, middle-aged black wolfdog dressed in a Zordon military uniform. He carried himself full of confidence in a military manner that screamed high authority. From his uniform and the way, he carried himself Jack assumed he was one of the highest ranked individuals in the Zordon fleet. The walking wolfdog glared at Jack as he walked straight up to his bed, stopping just beside Fara who remained seated in her chair. Much to Jack’s surprise Fara barely moved or acknowledged his presence beyond looking at him. She did eventually stand up and remain between him and Jack. Her actions told Jack that she personally knew the wolfdog of she would probably have been acting completely different.
Fara stepped towards the wolfdog and spoke confidently, but he detected a hint of nervousness. “Jack, this is my father, Fleet Admiral Aslan Quatar.”
Jack resisted the urge to gulp as he sat up and tried to be respectful to the large wolfdog. “It is nice to meet you, Fleet Admiral.”
Aslan crossed his arms and sighed. “There is no reason for you to be so formal. You are not one of my pilots or soldiers so please, just be casual.” Aslan gave Jack a smile. “I wanted to meet the man who risked his life to save my daughter and granddaughter in person.” Aslan leaned over and looked at Jack’s back. “And very glad to see that you are alive and well.”
Jack watched a bit awkward as Aslan extended his hand to him and he cautiously took it. “Uh, thank you . . . I’m not sure what to call you.”
“Aslan is fine after everything you have done for my family, just not in public.” Aslan sternly replied as he firmly shook Jack’s hand. “In the presence of other Zordons refer to me as Fleet Admiral.”
“Yeah, otherwise any soldier nearby would probably try to kill you if they heard you say that.” Fara added with a sarcastic smile.
“Thanks for that thought.”
“My daughter is not wrong.” Aslan stated as he gripped Jack’s hand so hard that he thought he felt something pop in his hand, though he was certain he wasn’t doing it on purpose. “But I have informed everyone under my command to treat you and your daughter with respect and courtesy. I am not worried about that as you have earned most of their respect.”
Jack’s confusion increased as he hesitantly spoke. “Really, they already respect me?”
“To an extent.” Aslan answered. “News spread quickly what you did for Fara and Felicity and most respect it. But, with you being a human I would not expect much.”
“That’s what I expected.” Jack shrugged. “Oh well, I’m just happy everyone’s safe and we no lounge have to worry about the PDF or the Xulons.”
Aslan and Fara looked at each other nervously before she spoke. “Uh, the first part is true with the PDF but as far as the Xulons are concerned . . . well, uh . . .”
“It is a completely different story.” Aslan answered for Fara. “They are never truly gone, no matter how many times or how badly we obliterate them.” Aslan sighed loudly as he looked down at Jack. “But that is our concern, not yours, so do not worry about it.”
Fara glared daggers at Aslan. “Do you have to be so blunt father?”
“Just stating the obvious, daughter.” Aslan stated to Fara than turned background to Jack. “For the time being just stay in your designated quarters, and the medical facility. That is just to avoid any incidents.”
“Understandable, so don’t worry I will be on my best behavior.” Jack stated as he saw Fara softly giggle.
“Good, as long as everyone’s careful we can keep things going smoothly.” Aslan replied as he shook his head, appearing to be annoyed by Jack’s comment but didn’t show it. “If you need anything just ask. After you risked everything to save my daughter and granddaughter, I owe you quite a bit.”
Jack shook his head. “Not necessary, as long as everyone’s safe I’m happy.”